Security News

February 18, 2020

Encoding Stolen Credit Card Data on Barcodes

This post was originally published on this siteCrooks are constantly dreaming up new ways to use and conceal stolen credit card data. According to the U.S. Secret Service, the latest scheme involves stolen card information embedded in barcodes affixed to phony money network rewards cards. The scammers then pay for merchandise by instructing a cashier to scan the barcode and enter the expiration date and card security code. This phony reloadable rewards card conceals stolen credit card data written to a barcode. The barcode and other card data printed on the card have been obfuscated. Image: U.S. Secret Service. Earlier […]
February 17, 2020

Pay Up, Or We’ll Make Google Ban Your Ads

This post was originally published on this siteA new email-based extortion scheme apparently is making the rounds, targeting Web site owners serving banner ads through Google’s AdSense program. In this scam, the fraudsters demand bitcoin in exchange for a promise not to flood the publisher’s ads with so much bot and junk traffic that Google’s automated anti-fraud systems suspend the user’s AdSense account for suspicious traffic. A redacted extortion email targeting users of Google’s AdSense program. Earlier this month, KrebsOnSecurity heard from a reader who maintains several sites that receive a fair amount of traffic. The message this reader shared […]
February 14, 2020

A Light at the End of Liberty Reserve’s Demise?

This post was originally published on this siteIn May 2013, the U.S. Justice Department seized Liberty Reserve, alleging the virtual currency service acted as a $6 billion financial hub for the cybercrime world. Prompted by assurances that the government would one day afford Liberty Reserve users a chance to reclaim any funds seized as part of the takedown, KrebsOnSecurity filed a claim shortly thereafter to see if and when this process might take place. This week, an investigator with the U.S. Internal Revenue service finally got in touch to discuss my claim. Federal officials charged that Liberty Reserve facilitated a […]
February 11, 2020

Microsoft Patch Tuesday, February 2020 Edition

This post was originally published on this siteMicrosoft today released updates to plug nearly 100 security holes in various versions of its Windows operating system and related software, including a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE) that is actively being exploited. Also, Adobe has issued a bevy of security updates for its various products, including Flash Player and Adobe Reader/Acrobat. A dozen of the vulnerabilities Microsoft patched today are rated “critical,” meaning malware or miscreants could exploit them remotely to gain complete control over an affected system with little to no help from the user. Last month, Microsoft released an advisory […]
February 10, 2020

U.S. Charges 4 Chinese Military Officers in 2017 Equifax Hack

This post was originally published on this siteThe U.S. Justice Department today unsealed indictments against four Chinese officers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) accused of perpetrating the 2017 hack against consumer credit bureau Equifax that led to the theft of personal data on nearly 150 million Americans. DOJ officials said the four men were responsible for carrying out the largest theft of sensitive personal information by state-sponsored hackers ever recorded. The nine-count indictment names Wu Zhiyong (吴志勇), Wang Qian (王乾), Xu Ke (许可) and Liu Lei (刘磊) as members of the PLA’s 54th Research Institute, a component of the Chinese […]
February 8, 2020

Dangerous Domain Corp.com Goes Up for Sale

This post was originally published on this siteAs an early domain name investor, Mike O’Connor had by 1994 snatched up several choice online destinations, including bar.com, cafes.com, grill.com, place.com, pub.com and television.com. Some he sold over the years, but for the past 26 years O’Connor refused to auction perhaps the most sensitive domain in his stable — corp.com. It is sensitive because years of testing shows whoever wields it would have access to an unending stream of passwords, email and other proprietary data belonging to hundreds of thousands of systems at major companies around the globe. Now, facing 70 and seeking to […]
February 5, 2020

When Your Used Car is a Little Too ‘Mobile’

This post was originally published on this siteMany modern vehicles let owners use the Internet or a mobile device to control the car’s locks, track location and performance data, and start the engine. But who exactly owns that control is not always clear when these smart cars are sold or leased anew. Here’s the story of one former electric vehicle owner who discovered he could still gain remote, online access to his old automobile years after his lease ended. Mathew Marulla began leasing a Ford Focus electric vehicle in 2013, but turned the car back in to Ford at the end […]
February 4, 2020

Booter Boss Busted By Bacon Pizza Buy

This post was originally published on this siteA Pennsylvania man who operated one of the Internet’s longest-running online attack-for-hire or “booter” services was sentenced to five years probation today. While the young man’s punishment was heavily tempered by his current poor health, the defendant’s dietary choices may have contributed to both his capture and the lenient sentencing: Investigators say the onetime booter boss’s identity became clear after he ordered a bacon and chicken pizza delivered to his home using the same email address he originally used to register his criminal attack service. David Bukoski, 24, of Hanover Township, Pa., pleaded […]
January 31, 2020

Iowa Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Men Hired to Test Their Security

This post was originally published on this siteOn Sept. 11, 2019, two security experts at a company that had been hired by the state of Iowa to test the physical and network security of its judicial system were arrested while probing the security of an Iowa county courthouse, jailed in orange jumpsuits, charged with burglary, and held on $100,000 bail. On Thursday Jan. 30, prosecutors in Iowa announced they had dropped the criminal charges. The news came while KrebsOnSecurity was conducting a video interview with the two accused (featured below). The courthouse in Dallas County, Iowa. Image: Wikipedia. Gary DeMercurio, 43 […]
January 29, 2020

Sprint Exposed Customer Support Site to Web

This post was originally published on this siteFresh on the heels of a disclosure that Microsoft Corp. leaked internal customer support data to the Internet, mobile provider Sprint has addressed a mix-up in which posts to a private customer support community were exposed to the Web. KrebsOnSecurity recently contacted Sprint to let the company know that an internal customer support forum called “Social Care” was being indexed by search engines, and that several months worth of postings about customer complaints and other issues were viewable without authentication to anyone with a Web browser. A redacted screen shot of one Sprint customer […]
January 28, 2020

Wawa Breach May Have Compromised More Than 30 Million Payment Cards

This post was originally published on this siteIn late December 2019, fuel and convenience store chain Wawa Inc. said a nine-month-long breach of its payment card processing systems may have led to the theft of card data from customers who visited any of its 850 locations nationwide. Now, fraud experts say the first batch of card data stolen from Wawa customers is being sold at one of the underground’s most popular crime shops, which claims to have 30 million records to peddle from a new nationwide breach. On the evening of Monday, Jan. 27, a popular fraud bazaar known as Joker’s […]
January 27, 2020

Russian Cybercrime Boss Burkov Pleads Guilty

This post was originally published on this siteAleksei Burkov, an ultra-connected Russian hacker once described as “an asset of supreme importance” to Moscow, has pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to running a site that sold stolen payment card data and to administering a highly secretive crime forum that counted among its members some of the most elite Russian cybercrooks. Aleksei Burkov, seated second from right, attends a hearing in Jerusalem in 2015. Andrei Shirokov / Tass via Getty Images. Burkov, 29, admitted to running CardPlanet, a site that sold more than 150,000 stolen credit card accounts, and to being […]
January 24, 2020

Does Your Domain Have a Registry Lock?

This post was originally published on this siteIf you’re running a business online, few things can be as disruptive or destructive to your brand as someone stealing your company’s domain name and doing whatever they wish with it. Even so, most major Web site owners aren’t taking full advantage of the security tools available to protect their domains from being hijacked. Here’s the story of one recent victim who was doing almost everything possible to avoid such a situation and still had a key domain stolen by scammers. On December 23, 2019, unknown attackers began contacting customer support people at […]
January 22, 2020

Apple Addresses iPhone 11 Location Privacy Concern

This post was originally published on this siteApple is rolling out a new update to its iOS operating system that addresses the location privacy issue on iPhone 11 devices that was first detailed here last month. Beta versions of iOS 13.3.1 include a new setting that lets users disable the “Ultra Wideband” feature, a short-range technology that lets iPhone 11 users share files locally with other nearby phones that support this feature. In December, KrebsOnSecurity pointed out the new iPhone 11 line queries the user’s location even when all applications and system services are individually set never to request this data. […]
January 20, 2020

DDoS Mitigation Firm Founder Admits to DDoS

This post was originally published on this siteA Georgia man who co-founded a service designed to protect companies from crippling distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks has pleaded to paying a DDoS-for-hire service to launch attacks against others. Tucker Preston, 22, of Macon, Ga., pleaded guilty last week in a New Jersey court to one count of damaging protected computers by transmission of a program, code or command. DDoS attacks involve flooding a target Web site with so much junk Internet traffic that it can no longer accommodate legitimate visitors. Preston was featured in the 2016 KrebsOnSecurity story DDoS Mitigation Firm Has […]
January 14, 2020

Patch Tuesday, January 2020 Edition

This post was originally published on this siteMicrosoft today released updates to plug 50 security holes in various flavors of Windows and related software. The patch batch includes a fix for a flaw in Windows 10 and server equivalents of this operating system that prompted an unprecedented public warning from the U.S. National Security Agency. This month also marks the end of mainstream support for Windows 7, a still broadly-used operating system that will no longer be supplied with security updates. As first reported Monday by KrebsOnSecurity, Microsoft addressed a severe bug (CVE-2020-0601) in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016/19 reported […]
January 13, 2020

Cryptic Rumblings Ahead of First 2020 Patch Tuesday

This post was originally published on this siteSources tell KrebsOnSecurity that Microsoft Corp. is slated to release a software update on Tuesday to fix an extraordinarily serious security vulnerability in a core cryptographic component present in all versions of Windows. Those sources say Microsoft has quietly shipped a patch for the bug to branches of the U.S. military and to other high-value customers/targets that manage key Internet infrastructure, and that those organizations have been asked to sign agreements preventing them from disclosing details of the flaw prior to Jan. 14, the first Patch Tuesday of 2020. According to sources, the vulnerability […]
January 13, 2020

Phishing for Apples, Bobbing for Links

This post was originally published on this siteAnyone searching for a primer on how to spot clever phishing links need look no further than those targeting customers of Apple, whose brand by many measures remains among the most-targeted. Past stories here have examined how scammers working with organized gangs try to phish iCloud credentials from Apple customers who have a mobile device that is lost or stolen. Today’s piece looks at the well-crafted links used in some of these lures. KrebsOnSecurity heard from a reader in South Africa who recently received a text message stating his lost iPhone X had […]
January 10, 2020

Alleged Member of Neo-Nazi Swatting Group Charged

This post was originally published on this siteFederal investigators on Friday arrested a Virginia man accused of being part of a neo-Nazi group that targeted hundreds of people in “swatting” attacks, wherein fake bomb threats, hostage situations and other violent scenarios were phoned in to police as part of a scheme to trick them into visiting potentially deadly force on a target’s address. In July 2018, KrebsOnSecurity published the story Neo-Nazi Swatters Target Dozens of Journalists, which detailed the activities of a loose-knit group of individuals who had targeted hundreds of individuals for swatting attacks, including federal judges, corporate executives […]
January 9, 2020

Senators Prod FCC to Act on SIM Swapping

This post was originally published on this siteCrooks have stolen tens of millions of dollars and other valuable commodities from thousands of consumers via “SIM swapping,” a particularly invasive form of fraud that involves tricking a target’s mobile carrier into transferring someone’s wireless service to a device they control. But the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the entity responsible for overseeing wireless industry practices, has so far remained largely silent on the matter. Now, a cadre of Senate lawmakers is demanding to know what, if anything, the agency might be doing to track and combat SIM swapping. On Thursday, a […]
January 6, 2020

The Hidden Cost of Ransomware: Wholesale Password Theft

This post was originally published on this siteOrganizations in the throes of cleaning up after a ransomware outbreak typically will change passwords for all user accounts that have access to any email systems, servers and desktop workstations within their network. But all too often, ransomware victims fail to grasp that the crooks behind these attacks can and frequently do siphon every single password stored on each infected endpoint. The result of this oversight may offer attackers a way back into the affected organization, access to financial and healthcare accounts, or — worse yet — key tools for attacking the victim’s […]
January 2, 2020

Got Backups?

This post was originally published on this siteEventually, we all have an accident or get hacked. And when we do, backups are often the only way to recover. Backups are cheap and easy; make sure you are backing up all of your personal information at home (such as family photos) on a regular basis.
December 30, 2019

Scamming You Through Social Media

This post was originally published on this siteYou may be aware that cyber attacks will try to trick you over the phone or through email using phishing attacks, but do you realize they may try to attack you also over Social Media, such as through Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? Just like in email, if you get any Social Media messages that are highly urgent or too good to be true, it may be an attack.
December 29, 2019

Happy 10th Birthday, KrebsOnSecurity.com

This post was originally published on this siteToday marks the 10th anniversary of KrebsOnSecurity.com! Over the past decade, the site has featured more than 1,800 stories focusing mainly on cybercrime, computer security and user privacy concerns. And what a decade it has been. Stories here have exposed countless scams, data breaches, cybercrooks and corporate stumbles. In the ten years since its inception, the site has attracted more than 37,000 newsletter subscribers, and nearly 100 million pageviews generated by roughly 40 million unique visitors. Some of those 40 million visitors left more than 100,000 comments. The community that has sprung up […]